2010 Amtrak Vacation


California Zephyr

Coast Starlight

Southwest Chief

San Francisco, CA

Our Laughlin Nevada Stay

The Plan

    After spending a night in Vegas my friend Greg is driving us to Laughlin for 4 days of poker and a little sightseeing.  We'll also be scouting places to stay next year as we hope to spend 4-6 weeks near Laughlin next winter.  I have several places across the river in Bullhead City, AZ to check out.

    After Laughlin we will be heading back home by way of Amtrak's Southwest Chief train route.

Don't hide the carrots from the wild burrows
Donkey attack
This was a day trip to Oatman Arizona


Our Trip

Greg picked us up at The Plaza Hotel & Casino in Vegas just after noon and drove us to Laughlin NV.   It was about a 2 hour drive to get to the Colorado Belle where we would be staying for our 4 day stay in Laughlin.   I had chose that hotel for at least 3 reasons.   First reason was that is where I was planning on playing poker.   I had researched the room online and it really sounded like what I was looking for.   The reason for picking this area for a winter getaway was because I wanted a place that had good poker rooms.   The second reason for choosing this hotel was it appeared to be right in the middle of it all.   The third reason for choosing he Colorado Belle was the $22.95 a night room rates.  4 nights for under $100.

Greg helped us to our rooms then Greg and I went off to play some Texas Holdem.   We managed to get the same table, which was nice, he even tried to bluff me off a hand once.   Yes I said tried...but I knew that look when he checked t he river.
I really don't recall when we called it a day, Greg had to work early and had an hour+ drive back home in Henderson.
 I know it was before 10pm and I think we both lost a little money playing 2-6 limit holdem.   So another early night.

We wake up early Tuesday morning, me knowing that I sold my soul to the devil(also know as the wife).   I had promised her Tuesday was her day for letting me run off and play poker 2 nights in row.    The devil went for coffee and my wife returned with a crispy creme and a coffee for us.  Today after picking up a rental car across the street,we go to craft stores to see if she can live here for 6 weeks a year.   If she can find supplies and knitting/sewing groups we will give this dessert climate a try next year.   Well we hit jackpot on the first stop, it was a craft store that had been in business many years called Marge's Hobby House.  I was already wondering how I was going to remove JoAnn from the store.   She found a handful of item's and was done in less then an hour, though she tells me as I write this it would have been much longer if she had been there without me.   The truth is I wanted her to take her time, as I was already thinking about next year.

We then head down the road to check out a few lodging or potential housing spots for next year.   Nothing jumped out at us so far.   We'll just have to wing it next year, but at least we know the area sum.  We do spot a place for lunch and a laundromat that is on our list.   We get the laundry done and head to lunch at Black Bear Dinner.   Lunch was not only good but a big portion as well......so much for losing weight.

After lunch we checked out a few more housing possibilities and one more craft/yarn store store before heading back to Laughlin and the Colorado Belle.   JoAnn was going to play a few slots then go knit.   I headed to the poker room.  I think I lost $30 after being up about the same then running into some big draws that hit in the cash game, but then I cashed in the 7pm tournament for $245 a $190 profit.  I thought about playing some more but decided to call it a night as I knew we where going on a road trip tomorrow.   Oatman here we come.

Wednesday morning, rise and shine and off to breakfast by 8am.   We had a nice heart breakfast at the Casino before heading to Oatman, Az.   Oatman is an old goldmining town gone bad.   What I mean by that the 100 or so occupants have turned it back into a Goldmine(tourist trap) and get something like 500,000 vistors a year.  Now that I told you what it is, visit the town anyways.   Feed the wild burrows, take pictures, watch the gun fight right on main street and buy some souvenirs.   Beside being a tourist trap it really is must see, a place you'll laugh and smile alot.  Just don't do what we did.

JoAnn as a Donk-O-Lope          Matt as a Donk-O-Lope
and bring back evidence of being silly.

Of course the Journey there and back is not hard on the eyes either.   The winding roads and mountain views are spectular.
We actually continued past Oatman another 5 miles or so to a Operating Goldmine.  Not sure why we went there but it was a nice drive.   We actually turned around and went back through Oatman and headed to Lake Havasu.

Originally I had hoped to meet up with Bob for lunch in Lake Havasu, but we where not going to make lunch so we never did call him.    We decided to make the drive anyways so we could at least say we say and drove of the London Bridge.   You heard me right, I said the London Bridge which was bought, taken apart and shipped here and then reassembled.
It was a real nice day for a drive, so we drove.   It was a bridge.   We enjoyed the drive there and took a diiferent route back through Needles CA.   We where a little surprised as we approached what looked like a toll booth that turned out to be a California inspection booth.   They stopped everyone and asked us where we were coming from.   Thankful they did not find our souvenirs we had smuggled in from Oatman AZ.   We conitied on, turning on to Needles Highway and taking it all the ways back to Laughlin NV.   A note about Needles Highway, the part located in California seemed alot like Michigan roads all beat up.  JoAnn stopped in Laughlin to buy beer and got carded today, she did a happy dance back to the car.

We managed to get back in time for me to play the 7pm poker tournament.   The structure is a very sick structure but still manages to be fun.  Today I was not so lucky and bubbled the final table.   I really should have tried to steal a few pots before I got so low in chips, but then I woke up with A10 in the small blind 5 handed after everyone had folded to me and the big blind woke up with AJ.   A bit of a cooler, but then, that's poker.   I was very tired and called it a night.

Thursday has arrived, our last day in Laughlin........sorta depressing.  I am sure you all know the feeling.   We did the buffet for breakfast today.   JoAnn was going to head out by herself today to see if she could find her way.   One thing led to another and I tagged along.   She found another yarn shop that has classes so we went there first.  What Goes Around, Comes Around, yes that was the name of it.   She spent a bit of time talking to the ladies in there while I wondered over across the parking lot to the book store.   JoAnn found them very helpful.   We spent sometime driving around town and looking for some other housing opportunities for next year.   We stopped for gas before taking he car back and turning it in.

We get back to the hotel and go our separate ways again.  Today I will play the main game, 3-6 Omaha Hi/Lo with a full-kill.  This game consist of the regular's and they are all over 70 years old.   Omaha is know for grabby old guys and you win or lose your hand on the river.   This table turned out pretty good, fairly friendly and not to aggressive.   I settled in for the long haul.   After 2 or 3 hours I was down at least $50 playing on the tight side.   After scooping a big pot I opened up my game some as I had gotten comfy with the table.   By the time the clock was telling me to go shower and pack for our late night train connection I was up $100.   Happy with my nice profit I headed back to the room.   For the trip I was up $150+

I packed, then showered and JoAnn and I went and used my poker room food comps for a late night lite bite for heading across the street to catch the Amtrak bus.   I think it was while eating that I suddonly thought to myself that I had only taken pictures on the way to Oatman, AZ and had not taken any in Laughlin, NV or across the river in Bullhead City.  Next year?

  Next portion of trip

 Laughlin Area Photo Page